A local playwright’s debut work exploring the exhilarating highs and harrowing lows of the Donegal Rally takes center stage in Letterkenny this week.
Patrick Quinn’s “Revved” airs four nights at the An Grianán Theater starting Wednesday.
A former student of St Eunan’s College, Patrick, 25, studied at Queen’s University before training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
A solo piece, Revved was written during the first lockdown and after Patrick returned to his native Donegal.
“It’s my first foray into writing and I found it to be a very different beast to anything I’ve done before,” the Glenswilly man said.
“I had just moved from Wales and had this real compulsion to write about being in Donegal. This idea of the Rally grabbed me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was also very aware that no one would want to go see a play about confinement, so I had the idea to go out, take a road trip and visit different places.
Revved follows the fortunes of Eamon Kelly, a young man working at a petrol station the day after the Donegal Rally. He begins to reminisce about three years earlier, the year of his Leaving Cert, attending the rally and going to the pub with his buddies.
Drenched in Donegal humor, the play recounts Eamon’s journey and encounters with pals and various other characters. It is until the last moment when a terrible truth is revealed.
“As well as being a story about Donegal it is a story about the people of Donegal and our vernacular. I think it will speak to young people and the changes they are facing, being in love and the excitement of youth It’s about doing things for the first time, a coming-of-age story in many ways,” the writer said.
Despite his young age, Patrick Quinn is something of a theater veteran, having made his first appearances on stage 20 years ago. His previous appearances include A Winter’s Tale in An Grianán and Unified, Guy Le Jeune’s musical take on the history of the old Unifi factory.
He is not, however, the first of his family to tread the boards. His grandfather, William MacNamara, took the stage at Maynooth alongside Buncrana Bafta Award winner Ray McAnally.
But choosing to play several roles in a beginning of writing is surely a challenge that few would have taken up.
“It’s a challenge, but I’m starting to put my teeth into it. I’ve done a one man show before, so I have a bit of experience, but it’s definitely a different ball game.
“The An Grianáns have a huge amount of confidence in me, which I really appreciate. Theater director Patricia McBride read the first draft and then invited me to research and develop it.
“Between that and Emily Foran being a fantastic director and having the final say on everything, my job now is really acting. It’s a challenge, but I’m really looking forward to it.
In Revved’s audience will be children from various local schools, which Patrick wanted to see happen.
“The problem in Ireland is often that a young person’s first theater experience resembles Shakespeare. It will be more exciting, especially for transition year students. »
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Published: January 24, 2022 at 12:48 p.m.